Transmission Log - Orestes
Author: Green

Auto-generating preface...

  GREEN writes of a visitor.

  You've already received my official update about their new guest,
  so no need to add anything further to it here.


  Where do I begin...

  I'm writing this in the dead of the night as PINK sleeps and NAVY
  is out tending to the crystals.

  We have a visitor. She, too, is sleeping now. At least, I hope
  she is.

  After almost three years of nothing happening, I really wasn't
  expecting something like this.

  As you know (or do you?), we've been having our problems lately.

  Well, two nights ago, something magical happened. It was as if
  those problems disappeared for a moment. We had reached a
  beautiful moment of collectively not giving a fuck about anything
  - the crystals, humanity's destiny in outer space, each other,

  Spurred on by God-knows-what, we dipped into the alcohol and
  luxury food rations.

  We had a feast. It was wonderful. We talked, we laughed, we made
  fun of each other and we made fun of ourselves.

  We ate and drank for hours. PINK played us some incredible 'jazz'
  selections from the 20th century.

  Sometime in the middle of the night - I'm not quite sure when, I
  had lost track of time by then - something strange happened; a
  reddish glow filled the room.

  It just hung there, lingering for about 10 seconds.

  We we were terrified.

  Even now, we're not sure if it wasn't some kind of collective,
  alcohol-induced hallucination. The room we were in, the
  recreational space, is windowless. None of us were able to
  pinpoint the source of the glow.

  Anyway, we didn't have much time to really examine what had
  happened, because moments after the glow disappeared there was
  the sound of an explosion. Or, what we thought was an explosion
  at least.

  We suited up as fast as we could and rushed outside to see what
  the hell was happening.

  There was a woman standing 20 feet from our door.

  Now, as you know, outer space isn't really a place where you're
  accustomed to meeting 'strangers'. Aside from *expected*
  strangers, of course, like other alien species and what not. Or
  strangers you meet via communication networks. But, a stranger at
  your front door, silently waving at you, now that was weird.

  We didn't really know what to do. We just sort of stood there,
  gazing at her. She was approaching us slowly. If she had been
  coming to assassinate us we wouldn't have been able to do much to
  stop her.

  But she wasn't.

  She was soft in her movements, tentative. When she finally
  reached us, the four of us stood there, a few feet apart. She
  half-waved again. The sun was coming up.

  PINK addressed us through our comms, "What the hell is

  The woman responded, "Please, I need help".

  She had already accessed our comms systems, it shouldn't have
  been too surprising. As the sole occupiers of an entire planet,
  we never need to bother much with encryption anything like that
  for our local systems!

  Nevertheless, hearing another voice like that, a stranger's
  voice, was unnerving.

  NAVY stepped forward, "Welcome". He extended his hand toward her.
  I don't know where he got the balls for something like that all
  of a sudden.

  She extended her hand in return and PINK and I stood there like
  idiots as the two shook hands.

  Eventually, we invited her in. I'm still not sure it was such a
  good idea. Reminds me of those old vampire stories people used to
  tell in the early days of technology.

  It turned out that her ship had crashed. Later, she showed us the
  wreckage and we salvaged what we could.

  For the past two days she's been living with us. Making herself
  at home actually. She has remained intentionally vague about what
  the hell she was doing here in the first place, and we've all
  been too on-edge to probe her further.

  She speaks English, she's quite tall, and around 30 I guess.
  She's just a normal woman. Still, something seems off about her.

  She eats a lot and doesn't say much. She has no visible injuries
  from the crash.

  Oh, and her name is RUBY.

Complied by the Werner H. Young Terminal Emulator

Info: Simple A.I., designed on-site for executing
systems maintenance tasks and exchanging messages between
the Orestes outpost and the Arsinoe.

Built by Werner Young (2113-2151).

Names of persons have been masked to protect their identity.